How can you discipline a child and use a sense of forgiveness in the discipline?

Discipline can include pardoning a child on occasion.  For example, suppose you tell the child to stay in his bedroom for a half hour because he hit his brother.  After 20 minutes you can go into the room and let the child know that you will not be asking him to spend the rest of the half hour in the room. You can say, by way of instruction, that you are showing mercy on the child.  Mercy is going beyond what is fair.  You then could ask that child to go and have mercy on his sibling, the one whom he had hit earlier.  Pardon and forgiveness are not the same thing, but they are related.  As another example, you can discipline a child and tell her this, “Even though I am sending you to your room and even though I am disappointed in what you did, I still very much love you as a person, as my child.”  You are acknowledging her inherent worth as a person despite your being angry at the moment.

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Categories: Ask Dr. Forgiveness


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